How AWS Can Help with Disaster Recovery

One of the central tenets of the Well-Architected Framework is planning for failure. Even though the goal is to avoid problems, they will still occasionally occur. If you and your team have a clear goal in place following AWS guidelines, the failure will cost you less time.

The first steps to help with disaster recovery have to do with preparation. Have backups in place and create redundant workload components.

The Well-Architected Framework has laid out five best practices to help you plan for disaster recovery.

1. Define Recovery Objectives
Define your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) based on business goals. To create these objectives, break down your workload into categories of need. You’ll want to create five categories or less.

When determining your categories, consider whether the workload tools are internal or public. You will also want to identify the primary business driver and estimate the downtime’s impact on your business.

2. Meet Recovery Objectives
After creating your categories, you can design a disaster recovery (DR) plan that meets your objectives. Depending on the structure of your workload, you might require a multi-region strategy. AWS suggests several strategies of varying complexity and cost.

You can choose a simple backup and restore strategy, meaning you store your data in the DR region. In case of a disaster, you can restore RPO within hours and RTO within 24 hours.

The Pilot Light strategy lessens the recovery time by maintaining a small version of your core system in the DR region. RPO recovery time is minutes, and RTO is hours.

The Warm Standby strategy offers an even shorter recovery, achieving the RPO in seconds and the RTO in minutes. In this strategy, you keep a mini version of your full system always running in the DR region. In case of disaster, you can quickly increase its capacity to handle all your business’ needs.

The Multi-region Active-active strategy uses multiple AWS regions. If one region fails, you can redirect traffic to the other regions.

3. Test Disaster Recovery Implementation
Whichever strategy you choose, it’s critical to evaluate it regularly. Ensure that all backup systems are functioning and your plan meets your RPO and RTO in the correct amount of time.

4. Manage Configuration Drift
Keep an eye on your DR region, ensuring the infrastructure, data, and configuration are in good condition.

5. Automate Recovery
Use automated recovery systems like CloudEndure Disaster Recovery to remove the possibility of human error.

Schedule a Well-Architected Review
To ensure your strategies follow the guidelines of the Well-Architected Framework, schedule a Well-Architected Review. AWS Partner, WOLK can identify any issues in your designs and mitigate them for you.